The FDA has OK’d the COVID-19 vaccine. Now what?

By Regence
December 14, 2020
flu shot Regence

You’ve been waiting, and now the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Pfizer’s emergency use authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine.

But what does it mean for you, and how can you get it?

Vaccines will be released in phases, even as early as this week, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be available to most people immediately. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidance about the priority groups for immunization, and states are finalizing their distribution plans based on that recommendation.

That guidance calls for health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities, including nursing homes, to be first in line. Once those populations have gotten the vaccine, it will roll out to other priority groups. The recommended priorities remain even as other manufacturers gain approval to release their COVID-19 vaccines.

The best advice: Check with your doctor about when and where you should be vaccinated. Note that once you are eligible, vaccines and vaccine administration will be provided at no cost to Regence health plan members.

Some people might be nervous about getting the vaccine, but immunization is recommended as a critical way to stop the spread of COVID-19 in your community and to protect you and your loved ones from becoming seriously ill. It’s important to remember that getting the vaccine doesn’t give you COVID-19; the goal of the vaccine is to teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus. That response can sometimes cause symptoms like fatigue or muscle pain, but that’s common and a sign that your body is building immunity.

Meantime, while you wait your turn – and even after you’ve been vaccinated – keep doing your part to protect yourself and your loved ones to stop the spread. The best way to do this is to:

  • Wear a mask
  • Maintain physical distance
  • Wash your hands

We’ll keep you updated on the latest information, which you can find at You can also read more by visiting trusted sources of information such as the New York Times vaccine tracker, the FDA and the CDC.